AHLC and FFRF File for Summary Judgment in Case Pensacola Cross


For Immediate Release

Contact:

Patrick Hudson, Communications Assistant, (202) 238-9088 ex. 105, phudson@americanhumanist.org

Monica Miller, Senior Counsel at the Appignani Humanist Legal Center, 202-238-9088, mmiller@americanhumanist.org

(Pensacola, FL, April 24, 2017)—The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Legal Center, along with the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FRFF), today filed for summary judgment in their lawsuit challenging a large Christian cross owned, displayed, and funded by the City of Pensacola, FL.

In 2015, the American Humanist Association (AHA), joined by the FFRF, filed a lawsuit against the city after being contacted by residents of Pensacola who objected to the cross on public property. Because the city refused to respond to the organizations’ warning letters by removing the cross from government property, the organizations teamed up and filed suit last year.

The motion for summary judgment asks the Court to issue a declaratory judgment that the cross violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, as well as an injunction requiring removal of the cross from the taxpayer-funded land where it currently stands and prohibiting any further erection of symbols endorsing a specific religion.

“By prominently displaying a massive Christian cross on government property, the City is sending a strong message to its citizens that Christians are preferred,” said Monica Miller, Senior Counsel at the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “This message violates the Constitution, as numerous courts have made clear.”

“We hope this summary judgment motion will finally bring the city of Pensacola in compliance with the Establishment Clause,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association

The memorandum in support of the motion summary judgment can be found here.

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Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other non-religious Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

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